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Friday, May 26, 2006

"Dead In Iraq" Online Game Protest

Found this via the lovely Keith Stuart over at the Guardian Games Blog:

This work commenced in March of 2006, to roughly coincide with the 3rd anniversary of the start of the Iraq conflict. I enter the online US Army recruiting game, "America's Army", in order to manually type the name, rank and date of death of each service person who has died to date in Iraq. The work is essentially a fleeting, online memorial to those military personnel who have been killed in this ongoing conflict. My actions are also intended as a cautionary gesture.

I enter the game using as my login name, "dead-in-iraq" and proceed to type the names using the game's text messaging system. As is my usual practice when creating such an intervention, I am a neutral visitor as I do not particate in the proscribed mayhem. Rather, I stand in position and type until I am killed. Upon being re-incarnated I continue to type.

As of 5/25/06 , I have input 505 names. I intend to keep doing so until the end of this war. As of 5/25/06 there have been 2,460 American service persons killed in Iraq. (source -
-- dead-in-iraq

More details on the War and Videogames blog.

Personally, I'm a bit mixed here. I'm not a big fan of the war in Iraq. I had to put up with being called crazy when I doubted the existence of WMD's or a rational justification for the war well before we invaded, not to mention people brushing off my worries about the extensive loss to human life it would cause. This includes people from an old Counter-Strike server I used to help admin, some of whom I simply stopped conversing with because I was tired of hearing neoconservative groupthink speak regurgitated into webforums.

Still, honestly, chat spamming is still chat spamming. Chat spamming about the Iraq War in the Army's advergame might be a better than repeating your name in Counter-Strike, but it's still not my favorite thing in the world. I think these names and numbers are important to be put in public places, but I'm not sure it's the most appropriate place to start.

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